Planned food pantry beset by vandalism

| July 3, 2010

Despite vandalism that set construction back more than $8,000, pastor Sheila Hernandez of Oxford Tabernacle of Praise says the church is "going on" with plans for a food pantry in Anniston that will benefit the community.

The food pantry will be housed in a home on Walnut Avenue in Anniston that was donated to the church at the end of 2005.

Hernandez met the man who donated the house about a month before the donation. The home was not liveable when the church took over ownership.

Church members have been working on remodeling the home since the end of 2006. The floors have been replaced, and the ceilings are being lowered to be more energy-efficient.

Earlier this year, the home was broken into twice, and $8,000 worth of material was stolen, Hernandez said. Vandals ripped out electrical wiring, took out insulation, broke a few windows and stole a hot water heater, cabinets, deep freeze and stove. Hernandez said that the vandalism "really set us back, but we are getting back up and we are going on."

Hernandez has a vision for a "food pantry that is going to be used to benefit and help Calhoun County and the community, for not only elderly people but also single parents with children and families." She plans for the food pantry to be open twice a month.

Hernandez was in charge of a similar food pantry 13 years ago at her church in North Carolina, where between 100 and 200 people a month were served.

Hernandez hopes to have the food pantry completed and running by the end of the year, but there is still a lot of work to be done on the house. "With the way the economy has been, there are families that need help," she said. "I want to reach out and I want to help."

For more information, or to volunteer or donate, call Hernandez at 256-405-0215 or 256-310-9186.


Tags: ,

Category: Church Security